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Applicants may apply to the Custom-Designed Major (CSDN) as incoming, first-year students, current Drexel students, and transfer students. CSDN staff provide feedback on drafts of application materials with a final review conducted by experts from each discipline the applicant intends to incorporate in their individualized plan of study.   


All applicants are required to complete the following:  


  1. Introductory Meeting 
    Anyone interested in applying to CSDN must meet with CSDN staff to discuss their academic goals, learn more about the CSDN major requirements, and review the application process and timeline. 

  2. Vision Statement 
    In this 4-5 page essay applicants explain what it is they want to do, how they intend to accomplish that at Drexel, and defend their pursuit of an interdisciplinary education via CSDN.

  3. Plan-of-Study 
    A proposed plan-of-study that details, term by term, a plausible curriculum for achieving the goals outlined in the applicant's Vision Statement. Please review the CSDN curriculum page for information about required courses. 

  4. Recommendation  
    Applicants must secure a recommendation on their behalf. Strong recommendations speak to the applicant’s ability to embark on an unconventional individualized course of study. 

Current Students

Current Drexel students may be admitted internally to CSDN as a change of major. However, current students may apply no later than their sophomore or pre-junior year, depending on their co-op plan. Current students must be enrolled in the Custom-Designed major for at least 5 academic terms prior to graduation.

If you are considering changing your major to Custom-Designed, the first step is to set up a meeting with CSDN staff. In this meeting, students share their academic and career interests and ask questions about CSDN. CSDN staff answer questions and provide additional information about the application process and materials. The required plan-of-study template will be shared after this meeting. If you're interested in setting up this initial meeting, contact either Associate Director Dr. Katie Barak or Senior Academic Advisor Joe Santangelo. 


Incoming Drexel Students

Incoming, first-year students are eligible to join the Custom-Designed major (CSDN). Applicants to CSDN are required to submit supplemental application materials after submitting their Common Application or Coalition Application. Incoming applicants will be prompted to set-up a meeting with CSDN staff to discuss the major. In this meeting, students share their academic and career interests and ask questions about CSDN. CSDN staff answer questions and provide additional information about the application process, timeline, and materials. The required plan-of-study template will be shared after this meeting.  

First-year applicants interested in learning more about the Custom-Designed major should reach out to their Admissions counselor or send an email to 


There are perks to enrolling in CSDN as a first-year applicant! Incoming CSDN students secure automatic admittance to the highly competitive STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars Program. The STAR Scholars Program is an opportunity for highly motivated first-year students to engage in an early faculty-mentored undergraduate research, scholarship, or creative experience during the summer after their first year at Drexel.  


Incoming CSDN students also have priority access to Bentley Hall, which houses the Honors Living-Learning CommunityBentley Hall offers a wide variety of collaborate space where students may meet to study, converse and create long lasting bonds with their first-year cohort. It is the only dormitory on Drexel's campus connected to the administrative offices of a college, granting CSDN students a unique opportunity to take advantage of all the Pennoni Honors College has to offer.  


In addition, CSDN students in the Honors Living Community have the unique opportunity of having their advisors extremely close at hand: on the first floor of Bentley Hall! Advising appointments are available Monday-Friday, where students can connect to discuss anything from courses to book recommendations to the best place on campus for nachos.  


For dates and deadlines to apply for the Honors Program Learning Community, please visit the Housing website for more details. After admittance into CSDN, you will have the option of applying to the Honors Learning Community via your Housing Application. 


Transfer Students

If you are considering transferring to Drexel University and pursuing the Custom-Designed Major, talk to your Admissions representative or reach out to Transfer students indicate their interest in the Custom-Designed major on the Drexel Common App or Drexel University Admissions Application, but will also need to complete the additional application requirements outlined above. Your Admissions rep will connect you with CSDN staff for the introductory meeting. In this meeting, applicants share their academic and career interests and ask questions about CSDN. CSDN staff answer questions and provide additional information about the application process and materials outlined above. The required plan-of-study template will be shared after this meeting. 

For more information about transferring to Drexel University, please contact an Admissions representative at

Hello incoming dragons!

I’m here to give you some advice regarding the formation of your Custom-Designed Major! If you want to create an interdisciplinary major that draws courses from several schools/subject areas, then this program is perfect for you. First, you need a general idea of what your major will be and the career or outcome that you're looking to obtain from your major. Look at the Drexel University course catalog and see which classes fit your concentration areas. Having a basic understanding of what classes fit with your passions will be helpful for when you start to make your plan-of-study as well as writing your Vision Statement explaining your major. Once your first draft of application materials is done, you will have plenty of help from the CSDN staff, so feel free to ask them about any questions you have! Their feedback helps you revise your drafts.

The most difficult part of the formation of the major for me was fitting all the pieces together in the plan-of-study. Some classes are only offered in a specific quarter, so you need to take time to move the pieces around until your classes fit during the terms they actually run. And bear in mind, you can always make adjustments to the plan, so if you’re still debating about a few classes, that’s totally normal. Don’t stress, you can always ask for help throughout this stage of the process from the CSDN staff!

Once your Vision Statement and plan-of-study are through the CSDN staff review, departments from each of your concentration areas review. These experts provide even more feedback about classes you should consider or opportunities that might be coming in the future. After a final round of revisions, your, you’re all good to go as an official CSDN student!

Good luck with the creation of your major! —Rebecca Graubert, custom-designed major